Wednesday, 24 September 2008

the night light

the night light
casts long shadows
at my desk

pen, mobile phone, diary
a few business cards
at the edge of my vision

working for what
for whom

aware of my ageing fingers
typing on a mortal laptop
the lamp light reminding me
it's bedtime

today is ending
what was it?
i don't remember a single detail
did i live it
did i caress the moments
i don't know

tomorrow may choose
to grace me with its presence
after the perfect bliss of sweet sleep
when tomorrow ends
in the night light's soft grey shades
will i have used my day

it doesn't matter if i remember my day or not
it only matters that i touched the presence
felt the beautiful mystery
majestic morning turn to day to afternoon
to evening to night
to sweet sleep
touched every gentle fold of the air that envelops me
in its smooth blanket

i am an infant on this earth
swaddled in its blessed embrace

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

shallow times

we live in shallow times
so shallow we lack dimension
except for length and breadth
we stretch out forever in those two directions
but never rise above the paper-thin surface
nor search the depths we have forgotten exist

we live in times so shallow
we seem fit only to exist
not to live

against the laws of physics
it seems we are capable of becoming
even more shallow
to be less than two dimensional
to be, ultimately
no dimensional

was it always like this?
was there never a time
when ordinary men and women
rose in the morning sunlight
radiant with the prospect of living
moved to make a world anew
ready to work in concert
to ease the burdens of their fellow
men women and children?

shallow times
shallow lives
so shallow
as to cast no shadows
so shallow
as to leave no trace except rubbish tips
and graceless buildings
so shallow
as to consume their children's planet

so deeply, terribly, unfathomably
shallow

Friday, 19 September 2008

beyond my back garden

beyond my back garden
is a waste area
where long sandy blonde grasses
half camouflage crushed empty beer cans
and cheap wine bottles

but just over the gentle curve, past the half-fallen fence
there's a steep, slippery slope
down, down where bluebells grow
spread like confetti amongst the trees
and broken branches
in the miracle, Spring

and hiding, but if you're careful you'll see
myriad wild flowers whose names I never remember
but tick them off each year
in our wee wild flower book
yellow, white, blue and white, golden

and we step carefully so as
not to disturb their beauty
down, down again
to the edge of the Cadzow Burn
which runs from my home
to my mother and father's home

shallow deep

it's hard to discern shallow from deep
when you're standing by the shore
ready to wade in

easy to think deep is shallow
when you wallow in muddy waters

when you walk in shadow
everything's shallow

when you walk in light
there's neither depth nor height

as cool as purity

Friday, 12 September 2008

hold still your sad refrain


filled

filled with emptiness
overflowing with joy
a rainbow alights for me
and I for it

I am with the friends I love
and they don't even exist

drunk on water
I loll from side to
perfect side
caressing the air

Thursday, 11 September 2008

simple lives then

let's live simple lives then
leave no ripples on the pond
no footsteps on the snow

let's live with the lightness of air
the freshness of the wind
the warmth of the sun

and the calm of the night

myriad reflections on holiday

the sun
too hot
burns my heart

sunburn
overheated
within

the world ebbs
no-one notices

purgatory
the period between
two pleasures

hard faces
hard looks
hard children

the moon shines orange
large and brilliant
people walk by unimpressed

suddenly
a celebrity
the world stops
and stares

spice
the subtlety
not the meal

tourism creates
uniformity
out of diversity

two sparrows
fly low over the pool
invisible

the hills in haze
dissolve from view
i see but don't believe

the father shouts
the mother shouts
the child learns

water slips
through my fingers
and my mind

obesity remains
the privilege
of humans

conscious of everything
i cease to exist

we live
we die
there is no difference

the alpha
is the omega
and vice versa

the butterfly
really does
flutter by

the day you die
your realise
you only ever had
one day to live
our life is shorter
than a butterfly's

sexual desire
hungrier
than hunger

liposuction
excess meat
in transport

when half the West
achieves obesity
every one of the poor
will starve

sex is a drug
followed by cold turkey

Monday, 8 September 2008

i don't exist


i create


write they said


paint they said


the path is smooth


reality tv



on tv tonight
they showed twelve prisoners
and the viewers had to vote
for their favourite

eleven would be freed; one excuted

the votes were as follows, most popular
to the least, in this order:

Hitler
Stalin
Mao
Pol Pot
Genghis Khan
Caligula
then four others whose names I didn't catch
leaving only two.

"the last prisoner to be freed"
said the voice
hesitating to give the name
to build up the crowd's excitement
"is...

as the crowd chanted his name...

BARABAS!"

"And what shall we do with Jesus?"
said the compere to the crowd.

"Crucify him!"
they shouted
"Crucify him"

the open sea



the open sea
the closed mind
drowns in it


the open sea
carries me to another shore
though there is no shore
no sea
no me

everyone on the phone




everyone on the phone
everyone on the move
nothing getting said
no-one getting anywhere

Sunday, 7 September 2008

thoughts scribbled in the supermarket




to be alone
is to be in love

with silence

with the air

with light

with darkness

with mystery

with awe

to be alone
is to be in love